Oh! is that so? I keep hearing this comment from the muppets; Dugdale, Davidson, Mundell and Rennie.
It’s so easy to tell someone they cannot do the impossible – because you know they can’t and it makes you look clever or informed. Hard to believe that one of the above could ever look clever or informed.
Of course these comments generally come from opposition Members of Parliament or journalists. As if they would know. This is a very complex and difficult question – so why ask a politician who are mainly legal people or a journalist who is basically a lying storyteller with an agenda.
I am going to attempt to answer, or at least shine some light on the question. To do this I need the convergence of two points.
First of all, when I was a wee boy I earned extra money on top of my pocket money. There were lots of things I wanted to do. Unfortunately, buy my first car was out, because I was only 6. However, if I was a bit older there was still a very basic problem – money. Even with my extra cash, funds were limited. And why was that? because I was on POCKET MONEY. That on goes so far – as we all know. That is point 1.
Point 2 is just as basic. When any of my programme managers or project managers reported back to me that there was a problem and it kept recurring – I would ask them what they were doing. They were doing all the right things to resolve the problem. But the problem was the problem. You see, they were actually resolving a symptom of the problem and not the core or route cause. Consequently, they would never resolve the problem. If you have a faulty tape measure and you make a cut that is wrong, you can re-cut and re-cut but until you change the root cause, the tape measure you will never get a sustainable solution.
There is an old saying – or perhaps it was a young saying by an old person – it could even have been me. The one problem that you can never solve is the problem you don’t know you have got. Now this is point 2.
And that is all we need for now.
Back to the question. Can Scotland do better. Probably not very much, because of the two points above. First of all, and for the same reason that my car had to wait – Scotland is on pocket money. Scotland has been on pocket money for 310 years. If you pay the piper, you call the tune. Does Westminster want Scotland to prosper and succeed? Of course not and for a wide range of reasons.
Next, the muppets above keep repeating like a stuck record that the Government should get on with the day job. We now know of course they were lying to their back teeth and Scotland’s economy was outstripping the UK. Scotland’s education was outstripping all of Europe and possible the world. But that is not the point. That is not the day job.
The day job is resolving the ROOT CAUSE. And what is the root cause – simple! When a sovereign country does not determine it’s own destination – that is a root cause. when a country is rules by a neighbour under a democratic regime where that country total dwarfs you in numbers is actually a dictatorship – that is a root cause. When that neighbour is breathtakingly bankrupt and live and indeed only exist on the proceeds of your wealth – that is a root cause. So when idiots talk about focusing on the day job – the day job must be the root cause issues. That means, nothing is more important than the pursuit of self determination.
I would like to round off this piece with a couple of simple truths. The aforementioned muppets would absolutely relish the thought of Scotland borrowing to develop or use our ability to raise taxes. The former is an impossibility, the latter a huge poison chalice.
In order to borrow it is essential to present collateral to a lender. Instinctively we could use oil – oops the UK already use our oil for that purpose. What about whisky – that’s huge. Oops, London already accounts for that. So what do we have. Actually, everything of value we have is already allocated by the UK – we have nothing to use as collateral. And the people of this country still do not understand why Westminster are so desperate to hang on to us – that is a serious tragedy, that we have Scots that are so stupid they cannot or will not see the nose in front of their face – could it be because it is blue? I will leave you with that thought!
Finally, the poison chalice. Scotland has lost so many skilled and accomplished people. They are drawn to places like London. For myself, I left to work in the City of London for 25 years for that very reason.
Scotland has the ability to levy additional taxes over and above the standard UK threshold. What a shocker. The few skilled people will leave at the first opportunity because a) they earn less and b) now they expected to pay more tax than the UK rate. Of course this plays out extremely well for Westminster. The people of Scotland will now see their country as a land of low wages and high taxes – a fabulous opportunity for self determination – AND I DON’T THINK.
And basically, that is exactly the name of the game. Self determination is not the end of the United Kingdom – it is the end of England – virtually overnight. And the way the UK invokes these policies is to present us with …. OK I am finishing with a final mention of the aforementioned muppets, Dugdale, Davidson, Rennie and Mundell.